garlic festival shooting

Family Plans Mural in Honor of San Jose Girl Killed in Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting

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For the family of Keyla Salazar, they say the deadly mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival feels like it happened yesterday.

There are now plans to honor the girl's life a year after the tragedy.

Salazar's family was supposed to be preparing for a quinceañera, her 15th birthday, but instead the past year has been a nightmare for them.

"I miss my baby so much," Salazar's mother said through a translator. "It's an uncontrollable pain."

Lorena Pimentel De Salazar remembers what she thought was a young man trying to sneak into the Gilroy Garlic Festival last year. Then she said that man did the unthinkable.

Lorena describes the rapid gunfire, sending people at the festival to the ground, crawling to safety. Lying next to her was Keyla, one week before her 14th birthday, motionless.

Keyla took her last breath at San Jose Hospital.

And although it has been almost one year, the family said the pain is as raw as if it had happened yesterday.

"There's no words to describe the pain that we're experiencing and how empty we fell sometimes," said Katiuska Pimentel Vargas, Keyla's aunt.

Lorena said her youngest daughter is still traumatized and stays in her room. The mother also said she too is still traumatized and is in therapy.

Keyla was always the life of the party, working on her art, and always thinking of others, her family said.

The family prays for better gun control measures as they want to prevent another family from going through what they have. They hope to one day paint a mural in Keyla's memory at a park or a community center so that no one every forgets what happened in Gilroy.

"If there's one thing I learned from her it's that you can love unconditionally," Katiuska said.

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